Hard Fig-Leaf Yeast Made without Hops

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

La Cuisine Creole

La Cuisine Creole

By Lafcadio Hearn

Published 1885

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During the war we could get no hops, and found that fig-leaves were a good substitute. To Make Fig-Leaf Yeast.—Take a pint cup of the leaves, put them to a quart of cold water, and boil them until a strong tea or decoction is made—this is to be put away to cool; then pour off the tea carefully, leaving the dregs and leaves. Now boil and wash Irish potatoes enough to fill a pint-cup, put them to the tea of fig-leaves, beat them up with a tablespoonful of brown sugar and flour, to make a stiff batter, and put it in a covered vessel to rise. When this yeast is light and frothing, thicken it immediately (as keeping too long injures it) with corn-meal, until it is thick enough to be rolled out like biscuit. Roll it out, cut and dry the cake, turning them very often until dry. This will be a supply of yeast for several months. When you wish to make bread, take one of the cakes in the morning, put it in a covered mug or pitcher; put on it a cup of cold water, and when it is dissolved, put to it a spoonful of brown sugar, and make a batter of the water and yeast cake. Make this batter as stiff as pound-cake batter, and when it rises well, mix with two quarts of flour, and the bread will be most excellent, if carefully made according to these directions. Use lard as usual in making the bread up for baking.